Sunday, February 14, 2010

Caribbean Misadventures #10.

Caribbean Misadventures #10: Tala's birthday party

Today was a good day. I headed to St George's and the bus, instead of taking me to the depot, headed up up UP to the top of the town, where the semi ruined churches are. Not only had their roofs been torn off in the tornado, but the stained glass windows, and chunks of stone. I had been wanting to go up there, but it is an incredibly steep climb. I must've taken a different bus, for which i was greatful. I wandered around the top, through the interesting streets, and as I headed down, stopped for an hour or so to do a sketch...


It was outside a day care, and I could hear the little voices chanting their abc's. Then a door opened in a shabby house across from me, and an elderly man with a guitar headed to the day care. He stopped to talk with me when he returned, about an hour later. He goes to sing with the children, and he is also a story teller.


I wandered down through the narrow, shabby streets, past houses that have never recovered from hurricane Ivan, past house/shops selling everything from food to car parts, and eventually found myself in the market this time I felt OK, so I did some shopping for some fresh fruit and veggies. Walking these narrow streets... in fact it flatters them to call them streets... they are narrow, wiggly, twisty lanes that were never built for mini busses and big SUVs, which is what everyone seems to drive... drivers give you a little 'beep', and you have to squeeze yourself against a building or fence or badly parked car so they can get by

I returned for my mid day nap, with thoughts of heading to the nearby beach for an hour or two, but the thought of the climb back up to my little cabin deterred me. My hostess invited me to a birthday party dinner bbq for Tala, the resident artist, gardener, cook, and general handyman who fulfills all the many duties that her rasta boyfriend dosen't. Boyfriend's job seems to be to sit around and look sullen, and occassionally encourage their son to be a wild thing. So I painted up a little card for him -because he is really a sweet man. Then I headed down for dinner...

It was quite a weird party. There were five or six of her italian friends, one with rasta locks and two beige kids, a pair of newly arrived italian women, and some others. There was the birthday boys ex partner who brought his sons, and her recent baby, with someone else. There was a clutch of glowering young Granadian men, sitting sullenly on the porch. The birthday boy was in the kitchen cooking up his Granadian specialty, called an 'oil down'. It was a bloody awful like a stew like mess, with everything but the kitchen sink in it - chicken, beef, conch, fish, veggies, chunks of corn on the cob, bread fruit, dumplings, carrots. and I dunno what else. Huge plates were served up. It was grotesquely unappealing, but had to be tackled. I 'shared' my plate with someone else, and left most of it.

The women had brought about half a dozenn little boy children all around five years old, who were allowed to run maniacally around, screaming yelling, pounding the floor, and that, combined with top volume rasta music and non stop Italian finally drove me to my room, where I am now... they are still at it!!!Those kids were totally wired, I have never seen anything so out of control in my life! I swear they were all on speed! The mothers totally ignored them, and babbled on in Italian.





I leave tomorrow for some quiet time on the smaller island of Carriacou...

2 comments:

Ann said...

Your writing really brings things to life. No photo of the oil down?

canayjun/elain said...

lol ann... it looked like a disgusting, brownish beige messy stew....